The Irwins and the Steeles - they didn't talk much :)
I went to Australia Zoo not really looking forward to it - but feeling like it was something that I ought to do once in my life - and feeling a little cynical about all the hype over Steve Irwin.
But in the end I was very impressed.
The negatives first
There is too much haigiography of Irwin. He is everywhere. From the huge jump in the toyota add at the entrance to the name of the shuttle train 'Steve's Safari.' The half hour performance we watched in the Crocoseam was billed as a tribute to him and the things he stood for. It doesn't make sense to call the place 'The home of the Crocodile hunter' with a photo of him - when he clearly isn't there.
Something led by one person will be stamped for good or ill with that person's personality and vision whereas the organisation led by a committee or board by nature is one of compromise.
Australia Zoo has vision and character in a way i have not seen in any other zoo.
It was by far the best zoo I have been to and we had a wonderful time - seeing lots of animals up close. Many of the exhibits actually had keepers in the cages sitting with the animals to answer questions.
Cathie has been a little frustrated the last few days that so far the balance of our holiday has been higher on fun that learning. Well Australia Zoo was fun but it was a day filled with conversation and learning. I was very impressed.
Sideline: A delightful moment for us was when Hannah discovered that Australia Zoo was not in Sydney as she had assumed.
ps We didn't see Bindi!
When we picked up the Jeep on Friday it still didn't have a backup fan. The replacement fan from jeep was quoted at $1300, and the repair guys had not been able to get one second hand that day. They gave us the name of a jeep place at Maroochydore which specialises in second hand parts - so we will go there.
But it means two days of driving with no back up fan - and hence no air conditioner.
This was fine as we drove with the windows open. More stressful was keeping a close eye on the temperature. We sat at 95 which was the middle of the dial the whole trip. 120 was the red area. I am not sure quite what this means but I am keeping a close eye on it.
It now feels like we are starting to get more off the beaten track. All though we are only at the Sunshine Coast. It is starting to feel like the outback is approaching. This is exciting.
We are also starting to get into the rythum of things. We arrived at the Big 4 Forest Glen Caravan Park at about 4pm, the kids went for a play in the pool while Cathie had a sleep and I edited up a video. At six pm we looked at the Bible. Abraham actually fell asleep towards the end of this time - he was so tired after the big day at Australia Zoo.
Then dinner and then we actually got the kids to bed by 9pm and us by 10pm. I woke at 5:30am.
It's seven now, we will breakfast, pack up the caravan and head to church.
We just heard this banging around outside the caravan - it was a brush turkey trying to break into our rubbish. Abraham was out of bed in a second and headed out to scare it away.